It is necessary to remain in scripture and prayer and meditation so we can stay clean. This is necessary so we can remain a clean vessel. Religion has a way of being very exterior in its hygiene. The Pharisees received one of their ‘seven woes,’ or judgments, from Jesus for such practices. “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisees, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also” (Matthew 23:25-26). All the dress up in robes, collars, big gold crosses, titles, positions and postures are things outside the real person, ‘the cup and the dish,’ and are only to please men and please themselves. No matter how dressed up we are in religious outerwear, if the heart is unclean, the whole person is unclean.
“Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?” Jesus